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walnut tree

my mum gave me a twig about 9 years ago i planted it ( thinking it was another mini apple tree)  nothing happened for what seemed a few years now i have a 14 ft walnut tree my neighbour complains of the canopy as its huge and not been touched since my gardening hubby died 6 years ago ive just started to get interested in gardening and wanted to no when do i prune it when will it fruit ( had one nut last year and also can i train it like you can fruit trees i heard they can grow up to 40ft but mine is close to the house so would love to keep it small arounf the 14ft it is now as i find that a manageable size  cause my late mum gave it me i really dont wan tt cut it down please please help ive searched the web but must be looking in the wrong places 

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  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 13,951

     

    To quote Alan Titchmarsh "Do not prune older trees unless absolutely necessary. They are prone to cavities after severe pruning if the collar at the base of the branch is damaged or stumps are left behind. For this reason it is worth raising the canopy when the tree is still young and keeping the stem clear as it grows.".

    Joy Bostock of the RHS says "Established walnuts, whether fruiting or ornamental, are best left unpruned. Where pruning is necessary it is important that the work be undertaken between mid-summer and early autumn and that the branch collar be left intact. Flush cuts that remove the branch collar are prone to decay. Hard pruning is not tolerated. Avoid pruning walnuts in late winter or early spring (January-April) as the sap rises early and the pruning cuts will bleed profusely.".

    If it has just started fruiting (nutting?) I would just leave it as it is just getting into its stride.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
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